This quick start guide about Hidden Express will provide you with detailed images, tips, information, and hints on how to play your best game..
By Nadia Oxford From GameZebo
- To play Hidden Express, click on the "Play Now" button at the top of this page to play!
- The World Map acts as the game hub. From here, you can choose which stage you'd like to play, as well as access a variety of other options. They are as follows:
- Lives- These are displayed in the shape of a heart. Every time you play a hidden object area, you will use a Life. By default, you can carry a maximum of six lives. When you've used a life, or run out of lives, you will need to wait for them to refill/recharge. It takes half an hour for a Life to recharge.
- Tickets- These are a special currency you can use in the game. Tickets can be used to purchase temporary upgrades, permanent upgrades, or to progress to the next area. Tickets cannot be earned in game and require cash to purchase, so use them wisely!
- Like/Add Friends- These buttons allow you to like the Hidden Express and/or add friends for you to play with!
- Options- These small buttons let you toggle certain features on and off, such and Sound FX and Music. The full screen view option is also here.
- Map- This will take you to the World Map. From here, you can fast-travel to a specific city to play the hidden object areas there.
- Shop- Here you can use your tickets to purchase upgrades to help you during gameplay.
- Level- Each level has a number representing a specific hidden object area. Click on this to play that level.
- Power Ups- The Power Ups displayed in the lower left corner of this screen can be purchased with tickets, and will permanently improve various features of the game.
- Leaderboards- Click on the trophy icon to view your location on Hidden Express's overall leaderboards. The number of stars shown in this box shows you how many possible stars you've collected out of the overall total possible.
- In addition, as you play through the game, you will uncover Power-Ups. Unlike the ones shown in the map screen, these are unlocked by progressing further in the game. Power-Ups include such helpful types as Seeker (identify the location of a specific clue) and Slow (allows you to take advantage of a slow-moving train for a few seconds).
How to Play
- When you'd like to play a hidden object area, simply select the Level number (i.e. "5" shown on the map screen). Once done, the scene associated with that level will be displayed.
- Before beginning a level, you can view your Top Friends on the right, as well as how far you have to go until your next star, displayed over the hidden object area (i.e. "Celtic Room").
- Power-Ups may be added and/or purchased before you start a level. These are unlocked as you progress in the game. The further you progress, the more Power-Ups you'll unlock!
- Once you're ready to play, click "Play Now".
- Once you're inside a hidden object area, it's important to know what's what.
- Star Meter- As you find items, you will earn points. The more points you earn, the more the Star Meter will fill up. The goal is to fill the bar up as much as possible to earn three stars, though you can pass a level with just one.
- Combo Meter- If you find objects back-to-back with little or no delay, it will count as a combo. The more combos you can string together, the more the items you find will be worth. This bar displays your current combo chain, as well as a small circular type of clock that alerts you to how long you have before your combo ends.
- Options- Options can be accessed here as well as from the Map screen. They are exactly the same and can be altered at any time.
- Clue Train- This displays the objects you will need to find. The Clue Train is always moving, though. When you find an object, the car displaying its name will disappear. Find enough objects to make the Engine appear to complete the level!
- Hints- Any available hints are displayed here. Hints include simply showing a random item location, to being specific power-ups you've found or equipped to help make your game easier.
- Now that you're acquainted with the layout of the game screen, let's talk specifics!
- The goal of each level is to find the objects listed on the Clue Train by clicking on them in the hidden object area. As you find objects, cars will be cleared from the train, eventually revealing the Engine. Find the object listed on the Engine to complete the level. You do not have to find all the objects listed on the cars to complete a level-- just the Engine. When the Engine is in sight, a whistle will sound.
- The opposite of the Engine is the Caboose. When this appears, you will get a bell sound warning you. If the Caboose makes it to the tunnel at the bottom of the screen, you will lose the area and have to try again.
- Sometimes boxcars come in different colors and have multiple items listed on them. Find all these items to clear the car as usual, however, clearing these cars will result in much higher point bonuses than clearing normal cars.
- You can obtain Combos by finding items back-to-back within a short time span of each other. When you do this, the Combo bar at the top of the screen will fill up. Once you've obtained a five-combo chain, a boxcar on the screen will turn gold. Quickly find this item before time runs out (and before you collect any other items!) to collect a handsome point bonus.
- In order to pass a level, you will need to find the object listed on the Engine while it's visible. Passing a level will give you a star rank between one and three, three being the best.
- Once you've completed all the levels in a city, you will encounter a gate. You must fulfill certain criteria to open these gates, such as collecting a certain number of stars, paying a certain number of tickets, or getting help from friends. Opening these gates will allow you to proceed to the next city.
- At any time from a city map, you can click on the compass to access the World Map. From here, you can fast travel to specific cities (though you will need to unlock them first via progressing in the game!).
- If you fail a level, you will have the option to try again. Each time you play a level, it will cost 1 Life. You can try as many times as you like, though Lives will eventually need to be recharged via a wait time.
- Levels you have beaten can be replayed at any time, so don't worry too much about high scores right off the bat. Simply click on the level and choose "Play Now" to start it. As always, it will cost a Life to play, even if you've beaten it before.
Tips and Tricks
- Careless clicking will result in the train being delayed for five seconds. During these five seconds, it will continue to move, though you won't be able to find any items. You do not have to click excessively-- simply clicking a number of wrong times, no matter how much time between clicks, can result in this penalty.
- If a car with an object listed on it moves out of the screen, you will not be able to collect that object, even if you saw it. Only immediately-visible listed objects can be collected and their cars removed.
- The best strategy to getting a three-star rating is to reach the Engine as quickly as possible and find the object listed on it. Doing this will end the level, and any remaining cars will automatically be added to your score as a bonus.
- To get the highest score possible in advanced levels, find all the objects on multiple-object cars (cars that list 2-3 objects, for example) and leave any normal (single-object) ones you can. These will give you more points being eliminated this way than they would if they were will present when you found the object on the Engine, whereas single-object cars yield more points when eliminated at the end of a level as a bonus. Combos are also very helpful.
- Save your power-ups! These are expensive and (with the exception of the normal Hint per level), will not be replaced unless purchased or found again.
- Save your tickets until you really need them! They cost real money and cannot be found in-game.